Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Man Asks America, ‘Save My 76 Balls’

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – A man in Bellingham, Washington, has a simple request: He wants America to save his 76 balls.

It’s not as tacky as it sounds. Former ad man Ray Pedersen is the guy who designed the orange balls that have loomed over Union 76 gas stations since 1962.

Many pop culture enthusiasts consider the balls to be commercial icons but recently Conoco-Phillips, the company that owns Union 76, has slowly been replacing the orange ball with flat red signs – even the giant ball once on display at Dodger Stadium.

It’s a pretty ballsy move, but Pedersen says “It’s dumb to take [the ball] down in venues where it works, like Riverside Raceway and Dodger Stadium.”

Luckily, a ball-booster named Kim Cooper is organizing a “Save the 76 Ball” campaign because she believes trashing the ball is as bad as “changing the Coke logo to neon green.”

So far, 1500 have joined the cause, which includes passing out cards to the owners of Union 76 gas station that say, “Lose the ball and you lose me as a customer.”

Cooper thinks the campaign will help the ball bounce back, but Pedersen admits, “We don’t have a chance in hell of getting [the corporate heads] to bring it back.”

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